05 October 2011 12:12 PM

Hugh Grant vs the minister

News reaches me of a very public spat at Hugh Grant's latest conference fringe event.

The Love Actually star clashed with Culture Minister Ed Vaizey last night over the Government's response to the phone hacking scandal.

I'm told Grant accused Vaizey of being "spinny", twisting things and underplaying the problem. Vaizey wasn't having any of it, and through the accusations back.

One onlooker at the Hacked Off event described it as a "right ding dong".

It seems a reporter from the Manchester Evening News was also a witness. Their article quotes Grant saying "I'd be encouraging your party to get up and fight this battle", with Vaizey shooting back: "No-one is trying to gloss over 'hackgate'."

Organisers were worried about the response they would get at the Tory conference, having been cheered at both the Lib-Dems and Labour gatherings.

In the end the meeting with packed - mostly with Tory women, apparently all after a glance at the film star. At one point stewards had to ask the audience to stop taking photos, as the flashbulbs were getting too bright.

Craig Woodhouse
Follow me on Twitter @craigawoodhouse


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